As we enter another week, the dynamic perpetuation of COVID-19 continues to evolve as the number of infections in Australia starts to grow. In our last blog, we gave you some insight into what the virus is and what we were doing to mitigate spread. Given how topical coronavirus is currently and how things are changing daily, we thought we would provide you with some epidemiology of COVID-19 and what the latest recommendations are.
What has changed?
As of the 15th March:
There are now at least 280 cases of COVID-19 across Australia, and three people have died.
Of those, 134 cases are in New South Wales, 57 in Victoria, 46 in Queensland, 19 in South Australia, 17 in Western Australia, six in Tasmania, one in the Northern Territory, and one in the ACT.
On Thursday afternoon there were 141 virus cases across Australia. That jumped to 200 by the same time on Friday – an increase of 41 per cent.
The following pictorial annotations show some of the data collated regarding COVID-19 (please note this was from Friday 13th March). (source https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/)
How severe are the symptoms?
Who is it affecting most?
What other cohorts are more vulnerable?
Compared to other diseases, how contagious is it?
Why all the information?
I genuiniely believe that knowledge is power. If we are better informed and can understand the trends and spread of COVID-19, we are better equipped to make smarter choices and put more protective measures in place. We know that by activating protective measures early on, we can lessen the impact of disease and help ease the burden on the health care system. See image below:
What are protective measures?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison states "The government can't manage every hour of your life and tell you what to do every hour of the day, but we can ask you to listen to the information and make your best judgements as you care for yourself and your family and those around you. We are relying on that Australian spirit of looking after each other as we get through the difficult months that are ahead."
Advice from the World Health Organisation webiste includes:
Wash hands regularly:
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing:
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid toughing eyes, nose and mouth:
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practise respiratory hygiene:
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you are unwell:
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Communication is key....
Over the next few days to weeks, Change It Up will continue to keep you up to date with information as it comes to hand. There is a very real possibility that we may have to close for a short period of time however this will only happen if it's absolutely necessary. As a community service provider, we want to do the right thing by everyone and believe public health needs to be made a priority. We are also looking at ways we can deliver workouts to our member base online should the need arise.
Finally, we want to thank you all for your patience and understanding during this time. This event is something that we will remember for years to come and hopefully we can learn from it and rally as a community.